A FIVE-year-old boy has died after being attacked by a dog while he played outside with the animal, police have said.

His grandmothee reportedly tried to rescue her grandson and pull the bullterrier American bulldog cross dog off of him.

The youngster’s family had been looking after a house in Australia’s Gold Coast when the owner’s dog mauled him around midday on Christmas Eve.

A neighbour who witnessed the horror attack jumped a fence and also helped, 9News reports.

The boy was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition, where he underwent emergency surgery but died later.

News footage from the scene shows a pair of animal controllers going into the house with poles and later emerging with the dog.

Police confirmed the young child’s death and will prepare a report for the coroner.

Queensland Ambulance Service's Paul Young said multiple paramedics attended the scene.

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“They were house sitting a house, so it's not their dog and they were playing in the backyard and apparently the dog has just turned," Mr Young said.

The boy’s grandmother, who is aged in her 40s, is being treated for shock and injuries to her hands and arms.

The dog responsible for the attack remains in a council pound as police continue their inquiries. 

In July this year a five-week-old baby was mauled to death in his family home in New South Wales after their dog pounced on him in the middle of the night. 

The family's American Staffordshire terrier had attacked their neighbour's dog just weeks before the tragic death. 

The five-week-old tot died at his family's home on Jeffs Close in Kariong on the NSW Central Coast, Australia, about 2.18am on a Sunday morning.

A month earlier a woman was mauled to death by a pack of ferocious dogs she was looking after at a Queensland home.

The victim, thought to be in her 30s, sustained fatal injuries after being attacked by what investigators believe were at least three dogs.

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